John Wayne Allegedly Had To Be Restrained From Confronting Sacheen Littlefeather On Stage At The 1973 Academy Awards

John Wyane

It seems like just yesterday Will Smith slapping the ever-living hell out of Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars… after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss.

There’s no doubt that the incident was the wildest Oscars moment in recent memory, and hell, I’ll bet it will stay that way for a long time.

However, that may not be the craziest moment in Oscars history.

And in the wake of her passing at 75 years old, I’ve reminded of another wild Oscars moments that involved Native American woman Sacheen Littlefeather, John Wayne, Marlon Brando and even Clint Eastwood.

Heavy hitters…

Let’s spin it back to the 1973 Oscars, when Marlon Brando won his second Academy Award that year for his role in The Godfather.

He never accepted the award himself, but rather, he sent Apache President of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee, Sacheen Littlefeather, up on stage to accept the award on his behalf, so she could speak about the poor treatment of Native Americans, according to The London Economic

When she got to the mic, she spoke about the poor treatment and depiction of Native Americans in the film industry, which you can tell in the video was not taken too fondly by the crowd.

Clint Eastwood, who was hosting the Oscars that year, came on stage afterwards and had some sly remarks towards Littlefeather, saying:

“I don’t know if I should present this award on behalf of all the cowboys shot on all the John Ford westerns in the theaters.”

However, that wasn’t the wildest part of the night.

According to Littlefeather, and it is still very much disputed, John Wayne was having to be physically restrained by six security guards from running on stage and confronting her:

“During my presentation, he was coming towards me to forcibly take me off the stage, and he had to be restrained by six security men to prevent him from doing so.”

Sacheen Littlefeather Has Passed Away At 75

It’s with a heavy heart to announce that Littlefeather has passed away at the age of 75.

According to CNN, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced her death in a Twitter post today, saying:

“Sacheen Littlefeather, Native American civil rights activist who famously declined Marlon Brando’s 1973 Best Actor Academy Award, dies at 75.”

Although her cause of death was not shared, Littlefeather shared in a Facebook post last year that she had been diagnosed with metastatisized breast cancer.

Last month, the Academy hosted an event at its film museum in Los Angeles, and featured Littlefeather as a speaker, alongside a number of other Native American performers.

Back in August, the Academy released an apology to Littlefeather for how she was treated back in 1973, as former Academy President David Rubin called the abuse she received “unwarranted and unjustified.”

He added:

“The emotional burden you have lived through and the cost to your own career in our industry are irreparable. For too long the courage you showed has been unacknowledged. For this, we offer both our deepest apologies and our sincere admiration.”

Littlefeather accepted the apology, calling it a “dream come true:”

“We Indians are very patient people– it’s only been 50 years!

We need to keep our sense of humor about this at all times. It’s our method of survival”

RIP Sacheen Littlefeather.

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